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Visiting Professor John Clarke: Remaking the Public in Public Services

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McMaster Centre for Continuing Education

Room 206

1 James Street North

Hamilton, Ontario

Canada

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Remaking the public in public services: contested identities, institutions and relationships

Public services have been transformed by decades of reform programmes. They have experienced management reform, new approaches to leadership, drives to make them more market-like and customer friendly. They have encountered waves of enthusiasm for partnership, volunteering, community-centredness, and social entrepreneurship, and are challenged by critiques from service users and community activists. But what are the cumulative effect of these changes on public services? More importantly, what is their impact on our ideas about the public supposedly served by public services? This lecture will explore how publics are being depoliticized by managerialism and consumerism, and narrowed and distorted by the rise of nationalism, populism, and racism (with their ever more exclusivist views of ‘who counts’). It will also highlight efforts to refuse and resist such developments - efforts rooted in enduring and emerging identifications, attachments and desires for services that might provide support, promote a sense of social security and belonging, and enable individual and collective development in an unequal and divided world.

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McMaster Centre for Continuing Education

Room 206

1 James Street North

Hamilton, Ontario

Canada

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